The Key Working Function has been developed as a response to the NHS England & NHS Improvement Long Term Plan (LTP) commitment that by 2023/24, children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both with the most complex needs will have a designated Key Worker, implementing the recommendations made by Dame Christine Lenehan.
Initially, key worker support will be provided to children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital, but it is envisaged that support will also be extended to those who face multiple vulnerabilities such as looked after and adopted children, and children and young people in transition between services. This links closely to other commitments in the Long Term Plan, including the ambition to move towards service models for young people that offer person-centred and age appropriate care for mental and physical health needs, with a needs-based approach – instead of age-based - to transition to adult services.
A Key Working function is seen as being an important response to ensuring children and families get the right support at the time and that local systems are responsive to meeting their needs in a holistic and joined up way.
The downloadable case studies below reflect three area’s experiences with rolling out key working initiatives. Each case study provides an overview of the pilot, as well as information around the role functions, person specification and banding, team structure and management, referrals, interaction with registers, handovers, responding to the local context, system requirements and what works well, and impact. More information on the case studies is below.
- Transforming Care Prevention and Support Service (TCaPS), North Central London:
The TCaPS pilot scheme, in place since April 2019, introduced 5 key workers across 5 boroughs in North Central London.
- Essex, Thurrock and Southend Keyworker Early Stage Pilot:
The pilot scheme has been in place from February 2020, and aims to introduce two key workers across Essex, Southend and Thurrock, covering the whole Transforming Care Partnership of 7 CCGs ad 3 Local Authorities.
- North Cumbria/North East Keyworker Pilot Scheme:
This pilot scheme has been in place since July 2019 and introduced a key worker (also known in this context as a Family Support Worker or a peer worker) from a voluntary sector background across the North of North Cumbria and North East (NCNE).